Using Your Xbox 360 as a Streaming Video Box

December 13, 2011

Microsoft is working hard to bring the Xbox 360 into the living room as a centerpiece for entertainment other than gaming. The latest dashboard updates are making way for adding new video streaming services, including those from your local cable service. Additionally, voice control is being added via their Kinect’s voice recognition. Talking your way through television menus and searching for video content is now a reality.

In his article “Is the Xbox recommendable as a streaming video box?”, Matthew Moskovciak gives us an update on the functions and features of the Xbox 360 after the most recent update to their dashboard software.

The Xbox 360 scores well for cross-platform searches for video content when you know what content you want to watch. If you’re just browsing for content however, Microsoft still has some work to do. Microsoft’s competitors are not doing much better with cross-platform content searches, so this isn’t a huge black mark against them.

Matthew points out that the biggest drawback to using the Xbox 360 as a video streamer is that it requires a $60 a year Live Gold subscription to access any of the video streaming capabilities. This fee needs to be paid every year.

What we think at NextGen Digital Home:

Microsoft has a good thing going with their Xbox 360, especially when it comes to streaming video. It already has captured a large share of the gaming market. However, if you’re considering adding the Xbox to your living room for non-gaming entertainment, you have to consider the cost of the Xbox itself, the Kinect and then also the annual Live Gold subscription. It’s not inexpensive, and it’s not a one-time cost. If people are looking to cut costs with cable providers on their entertainment, then spending all this on an Xbox is going to be a concern for them.